Every September, the school gymnasium at Mary C. Snow elementary transforms into a pop-up health clinic.
As the school day ends, a stream of children floods the room. They flow (and often ricochet) between tables that have been neatly set up to serve a wide variety of purposes: providing immunizations, blood pressure screenings, at-home COVID-19 tests, and more. Students grab backpacks stuffed with health resources and classroom supplies, and grip brightly-colored pencils and stickers which have been awarded for bravely accepting flu shots. There’s a lot of hand-holding and high-fiving, and even, on occasion, therapy dog petting.
It’s a massive production, with significant planning and day-of support to keep everything moving smoothly. But thanks to the behind-the-scenes work of FamilyCare’s operations team, the event is a no- (or at least low-) hassle experience for the students and their parents, who don’t have to travel or take off from work to ensure that their children have access to quality healthcare.
In an effort to get one step ahead of the routine surge in strep and flu cases, FamilyCare orchestrates vaccination events like this at numerous schools across the region.
Lisa Luikart, Director of Health Centers Operations at FamilyCare, says her family is among the many that benefit. Because her kids are able to get their immunizations right there at school, she’s spared cutting her workday short to transport them to an appointment.
Our goal is to make accessing preventative care, and healthcare in general, as easy as possible,” said Lisa. “We’re really focused on identifying what local families need and providing full, wraparound services.”
Although organizing events at schools is just a small piece of the operation team’s role, it’s got a big impact. It touches every part of the community, at a time when stress tends to run high. All of us at FamilyCare hope that we can help families start the new school year off on a good foot, at ease, and healthy.